Confessions of the Professions Introduces Audio
May 30, 2017 – For a long time, we were looking for way to allow our confessions to be “read” by audio. In other words, we really wanted a feature that would read audio confessions out loud. After some searching, it was a few months ago that we introduced the feature in which a computerized voice would read to our visitors upon a click. The feature lasted for about a month and during that time, it did exactly what it was meant to do: read aloud confessions.
Unfortunately, it was too buggy and only a few browsers actually supported it. We removed it for the time being, hoping that browser technology would catch up to the experimental Google feature, which was also adopted by Firefox. It may have worked in the Opera browser as well. However, it was picky and sometimes it would play and sometimes it would not play at all. Instead of leaving the feature up, we removed it completely until we could find a solution.
Having re-introduced this feature using a new script, we are able to provide you with three voices:
- US Female
- UK Female
- UK Male
It looks like this:
While we were not in a rush to replace the feature, we did keep an open eye out for any technology or API that would allow us to do implement once again a feature that would read confessions out loud. We came across a website called ResponsiveVoice that did exactly what we were looking for, and with less code involved. There are still browsers that it may not work with and we have since discovered that the UK female voice does not work on an iPhone.
ResponsiveVoice makes known its own issues:
– Voice playback rate is slow on Android native browser
– Voice is cut off in shorter text on Android native browser
– Audio doesn’t play on Firefox Android
There are some other things you may notice while using this feature. It is likely that this feature uses Google API which can only read 100 characters at a time. Thus, you may hear delays in the content being read to you. You may hear sudden pauses when the sentence had not been completed yet. This is all completely normal and the best of technology that we can offer to you. In order to stop the audio, just leave the page or click the button that started the audio. Another issue that has no solution is that Text-to-Speak is not supported by Google AMP.
To our contributors who may be curious about this feature and wondering how you can cater slightly to this audio reader without sacrificing quality of your articles, here are the FAQ from ResponsiveVoice.
We hope this feature continues working and will keep it for as long as we see that it continues to work. If you experience any issues, such as audio not playing, we hope you let us know by contacting us. For as long as it is working, we hope that it helps improve your experience with using and reading Confessions of the Professions.
* The feature is only available on confessions, not pages.
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